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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

So, you want to make sense of your data -- maybe it's some daily lead data like we have right here " but the problem is, when you put it on a graph, it just looks like noise. Weekdays and weekends confuse the issue, and confuse our understanding of what's really going on underneath the surface. Right?                      
Client reviews play an important role in promoting your workforce investment board's career center online and improving your search ranking. Review signals contribute 8.4 percent to how Google ranks your site, according to a Moz analysis of local search engine ranking factors.1 Reviews also influence whether prospective clients will attend your events and make use of your services - 85 percent of consumers now read online reviews when considering local businesses, and 79 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal research.2 Even negative reviews are important, because they provide you with feedback you can use to improve your center. Here are five ways workforce centers can encourage their current clients to provide honest online reviews to boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Development of your in-store managers is a critical piece in the retention strategy. According to a report by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), companies that offer comprehensive training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training.1 By providing employees with the skills they need to succeed, their confidence and motivation will improve and ultimately result in a better customer experience.
Employment-focused education for "middle-skill" occupations is becoming increasingly relevant. More than 850,000 K-12 students in the U.S. are classified as "vocational," which encompasses CTE fields and makes up just around 2% of total students. The cost to educate these students is nearly $14,000 or 20-40% greater than that of traditional academic instruction. In recent years, approximately $13 billion has been spent annually by federal, state and local governments to support youth-focused vocational education systems across the U.S., with federal funding constituting only about 4-8% percent of all state and local spending.1 This is in addition to the $16 billion post-high school trade and technical school-industry.
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Today's employers are in the midst of a talent shortage that shows little sign of abating. According to the Manpower Group's latest annual survey, thirty-eight percent of employers report having trouble filling jobs.1 The professional and business services industry and the education and health services industry each have more than one million job openings, the Department of Education reports,2 and according to The Apsen Institute there are over 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the United States that do not require a four-year degree.3 These jobs, often referred to as middle-skill jobs, make up the largest part of the labor marketing in the United States. Businesses have a vested interest in solving this problem. Here are a few ways the business community can work with local youth organizations to prepare the next generation of workers.
Among numerous challenges facing restaurants of all types is retaining top talent. Retention is a strategic goal within organizations that's discussed among groups and departments on a regular basis. In my position as Director of Human Resources for a restaurant brand, I am responsible for leading this initiative. It is especially challenging in the restaurant industry, where turnover trends are high.
Youth employment rates are rising. The unemployment rate for young people fell to 10.3 percent in January, down from an all-time high of 19.5 percent in April 2010, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported in Trading Economics1. However, these gains are primarily among youth who are out of school; those who are trying to simultaneously go to school and work are still struggling to balance both demands, a Child Trends Databank report observes2. If your organization is trying to connect youth with jobs, the success of your program depends heavily on securing support from local businesses. Here are a few ways youth programs can make local businesses more motivated to hire their programs' participants.
Peer-to-peer recognition programs are becoming increasingly popular in the quick-service restaurant and retail industries. While top-down recognition still goes a long way, getting acknowledged by one's coworkers is also a powerful way to increase motivation and job satisfaction. More motivated and satisfied employees will in turn deliver a better brand experience, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, sales.
For workforce boards seeking to draw youth to your career centers, social media is one of the best recruitment tools you have. A whopping 92 percent of teens go online daily, a Pew Research Center found.1 Fifty-six percent go online more than once a day and 24 percent are online "almost constantly." Among teens who go online, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are the most popular social media networks; 71 percent of teens use Facebook, 52 percent use Instagram, 41 percent use Snapchat and 33 percent use Twitter. For your social media marketing strategy to be effective, you need to target these channels.
To date, a lot of good has been done for Career Technical Education (CTE). Lives have been changed and skills have been built, as institutions and dedicated faculty have been well-preparing students for careers in CTE.  In this series, we'll talk about how to build on the strong foundation of CTE and evolve the system while innovating for the future.

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